Claude Monet and Me
A Dream Come True!
It was actually happening. I could hardly believe it. It was so surreal. It had been a dream since I was a little girl. My sister and I were actually on a plane flying across the Atlantic on our way to France!
In September of 2009, a lifetime dream came true for me. I finally got to visit Monet’s garden in Giverny, France!
It was a month before my 70th birthday when I thought to myself, “If not now, then when?” I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go to Monet’s garden before I died.
Since the age of four, I was happiest when I was drawing or painting. As a kid growing up in New York City, my favorite activity was visiting the museums, memorizing the art, and buying books to take home so I could copy and learn from the great artists.
When I discovered Claude Monet, it was love at first sight. I resonated with his impressionistic style. I got my hands on every copy I could find of his art. I spent years learning about his life, his passions, and his art. I was obsessed.
I learned through my research that Monet and I had many things in common. For example, did you know that Monet’s first love was actually gardening, not painting? In fact, it was his gardens that inspired his painting.
The first time I saw photos of his gorgeous lush gardens with the willow trees reflecting in the lily ponds, I dreamed that someday I would visit that magical place to paint in his gardens in Giverny, France just like him.
Monet my Mentor and Muse
I envisioned myself standing by the edge of one of his lily ponds, in front of my easel, donned with artist’s beret and smock, pallet and paint brushes in hand, ready to baptize my blank canvas with the sacred ointment of paint. “Plein aire” painting is when an artist paints on location. I couldn’t imagine a better place to do it than in Monet’s very own gardens!
My trip to Giverny was one of the most magical and memorable experiences of my life. Witnessing his art up close and personal was an overwhelming and moving experience for me. My sister was so overcome by emotion that she burst into tears.
Monet’s colors and impasto brush style brought his canvases to life and set my heart racing with joy! Monet loved to capture light in his paintings. He was a master of capturing movement and the subtle beauties of everyday life too.
I was in awe of how Claude Monet transformed images of life and light as he translated them through his artist soul onto the blank canvas that surrendered to his expression.
As an artist, I have been profoundly influenced by Monet. I am so grateful this one-of-a-kind magical muse of a man existed. Thank you, Claude Monet, for sharing your light and love with the world so generously!
Painting with Monet
When I paint, I imagine I am experiencing what Monet did when he painted. When I dip my brush into a fresh, new, creamy puddle of color and splash it onto a brand new canvas, it feels like I have escaped into my own little world of artistic fantasy.
It is a surreal experience, as I witness my creation take form through me. When I step back every now and then to observe my work, it feels like Monet is there with me sometimes nodding with approval and a sly knowing smile as we witness the colors come to life and dance across the canvas together. It fills my soul with ecstasy!
As a result of my love of Monet, I have been inspired to paint dozens of waterlily and koi pond paintings in watercolors, oils, and acrylics throughout my life. You can take a peek at some of them on my website at www.artbysage.com . And, if you have a special request, I am happy to paint something just for you!
My art is my message!